Dēudā Folklore & Social Transformation in Nepal

Dēudā Folklore & Social Transformation in Nepal

Exploring how Dēudā song, dance and music can support dialogue in post-conflict settings for peacebuilding advocacy and social cohesion…

Dēudā is a popular cultural art form in the mid and far-western regions of Nepal. For centuries, Dēudā is perceived as exposing and commenting upon existing social relations, both harmonious as well as problematic. Through a call and response song, performers can expose collective suffering, and social injustices, which at times takes on a performative cultural form of advocacy for change.

Social issues such as caste and gender discrimination are often exposed, subverted and ridiculed through a Dēudā performance. Harmful traditional cultural practices which discriminate through so-called ‘high and low caste’, rich and poor, men and women are all topics challenged and re-cast through performances. 

This project is an effort to appraise how this folklore has helped build social cohesion in these poverty-stricken, and remote societies where there are often social tensions. Furthermore, the potential for Deuda as an artistic educational mechanism to create new ways of imagining social relations, remains unexplored/unused. This project seeks to address this gap. 


  • Building in gender (and diversity) inclusive considerations
  • Championing indigenous knowledge
  • Using applied arts and cultural praxis

Policy outputs

  • Two advocacy events (during festivals) including local artists, teachers, students, and local governments in Nepal
  • Exhibitions of a Photo Book in Nepal and the UK

Latest updates

Artistic output activities